Following four years of development, the SpaceX Demo-2 mission will this Wednesday finally launch. Demo-2 marks the first time NASA astronauts will blast into orbit on a US-built vehicle from America soil since 2011.
Demo-2 is consequently considered a milestone mission for re-establishing direct NASA access to the International Space Station (ISS).
SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States
Since the space shuttles retired in 2011, astronauts have been launching from Russian Soyuz capsules from Kazakhstan.
Wednesday’s historic space mission will take place from Kennedy Space Center’s legendary Launch Pad 39A.
Veteran NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be carried inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.
The launch will begin a 19-hour journey to the ISS orbiting 250 miles (400km) over Earth.
The astronauts will spend between one and four months living and working abroad ISS.
Coverage begins at 5pm BST (midday ET), with live feeds of the both the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule on the launch pad.
This kicks-off 26 hours of exhaustive coverage of the mission on NASA TV.
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At 5.15pm BST (12.15pm EDT), a joint NASA and SpaceX broadcast of the launch will begin.
Space enthusiasts can expect commentary from Kennedy, NASA’s astronaut hub at Houston’s Johnson Space Center and the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Launch is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT).
A final news conference will round out the day at 11pm BST (6pm ET).
This will likely feature expert analysis from both NASA and SpaceX about the historic launch.
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How to live stream the SpaceX Demo-2 launch from the UK:
SpaceX coverage of the historic flight kick-off approximately four hours before launch.
UK viewers can enjoy all the action live as it unfolds here on Express.co.uk in the embedded video player below, via NASA and SpaceX.
All NASA launches are broadcast live on NASA TV – the US space agency’s round-the-clock educational broadcasting.
The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX will also broadcast the launch live online on its website and video streaming site YouTube.
SpaceX Demo-2 launch schedule:
-45:00: SpaceX launch director verifies go for fuel propellant.
-42:00: Crew access arm retracts.
-37:00: Dragon’s launch escape system is armed.
-35:00: RP-1 rocket grade kerosene loading begins.
-35:00: First stage liquid oxygen loading begins.
-16:00: Second stage liquid oxygen loading begins.
-07:00: Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch.
-05:00: Dragon transitions to internal power.
-01:00: Command flight to begin final prelaunch checks.
-01:00: Propellant tank pressurisation to flight pressure begins.
-00:45: SpaceX launch director verifies go for launch.
-00:03: Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start.
-00:00: SpaceX Falcon 9 liftoff.
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